Doctors, psychologists and researchers from all over the world have been reporting on the benefits of Tetris for many years. In 2009, it was proved that this game improves the performance of the brain. Later it turned out that it can be used to overcome post-traumatic syndrome. And not so long ago Tetris was called an excellent remedy for feelings of anxiety and anxiety. Moreover, the version in which the speed of the figures increases with the destruction of the lines, was more effective than usual — it seems to silently praises the player, throwing him more and more complex tests and allowing for a time to escape from the problems of real life.
All this is certainly true for Tetris Effect, a new project of the Japanese Studio Resonair and Tetsui Mizuguchi (Tetsuya Mizuguchi), the Creator of REZ and Lumines. At the heart of this game is the most ordinary Tetris with a “glass” 10 to 20, familiar shapes, erasable lines and other familiar elements. That’s just he played not as an ancient version for the NES or handheld black-and-white device. This is really a modern look at the classic game, which gives unexpected emotions and more surprising every minute.
The main mode is not just called Journey-a journey through different worlds and eras, divided into three dozen levels. The player enters the desert with camels walking on the sand, into space with flying artificial satellites, festivals and cities. It is necessary to go down to the bottom of the ocean, where some living creatures swim, and later-to ride on the water surface in the company of several dolphins. Each level is different from the previous one, and it is always interesting where you will be sent next time. The design of the figures changes with the environment: in the snow-covered location they will be white, and in one of the zones they will turn into parts of mechanisms.
And all this would not be a significant advantage of Tetris Effect, if the gameplay and visual component is not connected so closely with the music. The soundtrack here is truly phenomenal-it combines progressive trance, and house, and vocal tracks, and a variety of “exotic”. At some point, the player will be at the foot of the volcano, and sounding in this episode, the composition will resemble the music of tribal peoples playing the Djemba. Beat the drum to the player, because it produces additional sounds when he turns the figure in any direction. Thanks to this, all the tracks are much more alive than when listening separately from the game. Even the delightful song of the first and the last trailers sound different and even better.
All levels can be divided into three equal parts, and in each of them the composition changes somehow. There are additional instruments, vocals, music is accelerated-at the first pass you never know what will happen. In most cases, this affects the speed of falling figures — it can increase by two or even three times without warning. But it is easy to predict — you just need to divide the number of bands that are asked to be erased for passing, into three. And their number depends on the chosen level of complexity — I sometimes had problems even on the average, and with the final level, and I did bother about an hour. For experts there is always a high complexity, and for those who want to relax — low.
The good news in all this is how the environment reacts to the destruction of lines. Dolphins jump out of the water, the flame flares up, running around the glass with the figures of the horse begin to move faster — all areas are given so much attention that it is even a shame to miss such effects, looking closely at the falling sticks and squares with great speed. But it’s still hard not to admire the ingenuity of developers who came up with so many unique situations. I tested the regular version without a VR helmet, and even so Tetris Effect was constantly impressive. It’s scary (in a good way) to imagine what it looks like in virtual reality.
This version of Tetris has retained all the innovations that have appeared in such projects in recent years, including the ability to rotate the figure even after its contact with the bottom of the glass or design. Also, the figure can be postponed for later-for example, if the usual stick you now do not need, but certainly useful later.
A new mechanic called Zone has also been added. Filling the scale for the destruction of lines, at any time you can stop time for a few seconds. This is used in two cases: either to escape from an unpleasant situation and correct the situation until the glass is filled to the brim, or to fill thousands of bonus points. The lines destroyed in the “zone” do not go into the overall standings, so this mechanics is extremely useful to get the highest score. Without it, the final score will be low — it does not affect anything, but you still want to achieve the best result.
Tetris Effect is never annoying, not boring during the passage of the same levels. It always remains a meditative arcade with fantastic music and beautiful design. The way your every move affects the composition and effects on the screen that sounds in the headphones is literally hypnotizing. Despite the fact that the game is not very different in terms of mechanics from their predecessors, in all other respects it exceeds them.
And if at first you just sit down to play a new Tetris, being skeptical and not expecting anything unusual, then after a few minutes you are completely immersed in the process and do not want to be distracted. Some levels give you goose bumps, others just atmospheric. The second zone on the background of the first looks and sounds weak, but it’s okay — even in the best music albums usually have one or two bad songs. In the third zone game again promptly accelerates, and in the fourth and after it emotions beat over the edge.
However, the Journey mode is not the only thing that Tetris Effect offers. In the menu you can find a lot of additional modes with entertainment for every taste. Countdown, for example, is ideal for those who are tired of waiting for the stick to clear the lines — here these figures from time to time fall vertically just like that, warning in advance of his appearance. In Purify, the player immediately gets at his disposal a half-filled glass, where part of the squares is infected. You need to destroy the lines with these squares to free up space in anticipation of the next infection, which will be larger than the previous one.
Interesting and mode Mystery, which periodically include random effects. Within a few seconds after the start or the glass will turn over, or the player suddenly begin to give the same figures, or the resulting design will change somehow-if long enough to hold out, the usual blocks will be replaced by gold, giving more points. There are also modes with a similarity of puzzles, like those that were in Lumines. It is necessary either as soon as possible to destroy a certain square, folding figures around it, or to achieve complete purification of the glass in a few steps.
For those who just want to play the standard Tetris also has the appropriate modes — and the usual version, which is impossible to lose, and accelerated, where the figures do not fall from the top, and immediately appear at the bottom of the screen. Next to them starts Sprint, requiring as soon as possible to clear 40 lines, and several thematic playlists dedicated to water, air and travel. Eyes at first at first, but after meeting with all these fun find your favorite and try to get the highest possible rank. Which, incidentally, is harder than the Journey outside Zone is not populated and is not used.
Sooner or later still have to try all the modes — on the weekend in Tetris Effect runs the so-called weekly ritual, when the whole community needs to earn a certain amount of points. For achieving the goal will be given a special avatar, which the player can put on and watch as in the guise of a Dolphin or other creature, he flies around the Earth with the other participants. It looks all terribly beautiful, especially when the stars in the sky sparkle in time with the music, which also allow you to switch at any time.
In the middle of the Journey mode, I found myself at a kind of open-air music festival. It all started very slowly: electronic music sounded, the audience shouted something, and when you turn the figures each time included a short voice sample-this effect is often used by DJs. After a few lines had been erased, the music began to speed up, listeners screamed even louder, figures tumbled to the bottom of the glass at an unexpectedly high speed, and fireworks exploded beautifully on either side. It was such a terrific episode that the final score became apparent back then, long before I had thoroughly studied all the other modes. A wonderful, amazing game that you miss in vain, thinking that it’s just another stupid Tetris.